Player Ratings: Arsenal 2-0 Sydney FC

Arsenal beat Sydney FC 2-0 in their first preseason friendly thanks to goals from Per Mertesacker and new club record signing Alexandre Lacazette, his first in an Arsenal shirt.

The margin of victory could have been greater, had it not been for some poor finishing and brilliant goalkeeping for Andrew Redmayne in the Sydney goal, but it was a good display from The Gunners as they prepare for the new Premier League season in a months time.

A host of youngster impressed while both of Arsene Wenger’s new signings put in good displays.

Here are my player ratings from the 2-0 win.

Petr Cech, 6

Had very little to do but showed his quality and experience, remaining switched on despite his inactivity and made a good save low to his right with the score still at 1-0. Subbed at half-time.

Krystian Bielik, 6

A solid but untroubled performance from the Polish youngster. Looked calm and composed both with and without the ball while his physicality and pace saw him keep Sydney quiet.

Per Mertesacker, 7

Scored a superb opener, hooking the ball into the net from a corner. Marshalled the defence well but got caught out on one occasion for Sydney’s only chance in the first half. Bar that, he looked solid at the back.

Sead Kolasinac, 7

Operated in the back three and looked at home in his first Arsenal appearance. Played out of defence well, even showing some neat and tidy touches to keep play moving when forward for set pieces. Showed his pace and strength on occasion.

Cohen Bramall, 7

Got forward well and fulfilled his defensive duties when required. Looked full of running, clearly wanting to impress Arsene Wenger and the Gunners faithful. His delivery was poor at times but you can’t fault the 21-year-old for effort.

Reiss Nelson, 8 (MOTM)

My man-of-the-match. Looks like a real talent and ran the show, all at the age of 17. Showed his pace and quick feet on numerous occasions, constantly looking to beat defenders and attack the Sydney FC defence. Played some dangerous balls across the box and was the best player on the park for me. Excited to see more of Nelson this tour.

Joe Willock, 7

A good performance from the 17-year-old. Demonstrated two very different sides to his game, getting stuck in and battling to win the ball while also bursting forward and beating players with his quick feet and tidy footwork. As with his compatriot Nelson, I am excited to see more of him.

Francis Coquelin, 6

Committed a couple of fouls and played some poor passes early on but showed good energy in the middle of the park. Pressed and looked to turn over possession at every possible opportunity. Did his best to guide a young Willock through the game.

Mesut Ozil, 7

Lively performance. Showed good variety in his game, dropping deep to pick up the ball and dictate play, while also making good runs in behind to stretch the Sydney back four. Played some brilliant passes in the attacking third and showed some sublime touches. A full preseason could do the German wonders, with the early signs looking promising.

Theo Walcott, 6

Same old Walcott. Caused problems with his pace and movement but his final ball was often lacking and his shooting was poor at times.

Danny Welbeck, 6

Worked hard and made some good runs but it would appear that he still lacking sharpness following his injury. Some of his link-up play was poor and he couldn’t work the required space for any clear cut chances. Missed a penalty early in the second half but justice was done as it should never have been a spot kick in the first place.

Substitutes

Emiliano Martinez, 7

Made a good save just five minutes after coming on, getting down well to stop a low drive. Did well to hold on to a deflected shot in the 65th minute. Produced his most important save in the dying moments of the game to keep a clean sheet.

Nacho Monreal, 6

Untroubled on the left of a makeshift defence in the 20 minutes he played.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 6

We knew the young Englishman was versatile and he’s now added central defence to his resume. Wasn’t troubled during his time on the pitch.

Mohamed Elneny, 6

Asked to slot into defence and put in a solid performance, cutting out a few dangerous attacks. A poor back pass almost gifted Sydney a consolation goal with seconds left but he was bailed out by Martinez in goal.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 7

The Ox looked in great physical shape. He showed his pace and power on occasion, drifting from left to right while also popping up centrally. Created a couple of chances and also had a free-kick well saved.

Alex Iwobi, 7

Assisted the second goal and look a constant threat down the right-hand side, skipping past defenders with ease. Could be a big season for the Nigerian.

Granit Xhaka, 6

Kept the Gunners ticking over in the middle of the park. Moved the ball forward quickly and kept it simple, allowing the raft of attacking players on the pitch to go and hunt for a second.

Eddie Nketiah, 7

Blazed a chance wide and hit the post just after coming on as the young Englishman looked to extend Arsenal’s lead. He was out of position on the right but looked dangerous. Scored a lot of goals in the youth and reserve team, he will be looking to open is first-team account while on tour.

Donyell Malen, 6

Quick, tricky and direct, the young Dutchman showed glimpses of his talent but didn’t have enough time to really stamp his mark on proceedings. Hopefully we will see more of him against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.

Olivier Giroud, 6

Some good touches in and around the penalty area but was quiet in the 20 minutes he had on the pitch.

Alexandre Lacazette, 7

The player that everyone wanted to see and he didn’t disappoint,  bursting through the centre and slotting home an Alex Iwobi cut back to make the score 2-0 and get his first Arsenal goal. Played just off the front, linked up with his new team-mates well and showed some clever touched in and around the 18-yard box.

About the Author

Dan Mountney

Hi, I’m Dan and I’m currently studying Sports Journalism at the University for the Creative Art in Farnham, Surrey. I have supported Arsenal all my life and grew up watching arguably the greatest generation of players the club has ever had. I hope my love for the club comes across in my writing and that you enjoy what you’ve read from me!